Canada’s participation rate, the share of the population aged 15 and over in the work force, stayed at a 13-year low as of November 2014.
At 66 per cent, it hasn’t shifted in four months and is more than a percentage point lower than 2008 levels. Low participation spells challenges ahead as a large number of people aren’t holding jobs and adding oomph to the economy.
An increasingly ageing population is one of the key factors for these figures. More than three-quarters of those newly out of the work force were aged 65 and older, noted Andrew Fields, labour market analyst at Statistics Canada.
The majority of core-aged workers, aged 25 to 54, that are out of the labour force cite school, health or family as reasons. According to Statistics Canada, the Canadian economy cut 10,700 jobs in November, while unemployment rose to 6.6 per cent. The average pace of hiring, however, has improved over the year. In the past 6 months, employment has risen by an average of 21,300 a month.
In 2014 full-time jobs increased by 5,700 while part-time positions fell 16,300 in November. Among industries, trade cut 41,600 jobs while employment in transportation and professional services also saw cuts. Natural resources added 14,800 positions while the accommodation and food services sector has seen the biggest employment gains, percentage-wise, in the past year. Information and culture along with natural resources have seen the largest declines.
According to Arlene Kish, senior principal economist at IHS Global Insight, “Canada’s job market has been mired by many ups and downs, a falling participation rate and slowing wage growth.”
Source: The Globe and Mail